The Mets had lost three straight games to the division rival Washington Nationals, but Jacob deGrom was not going to let it be four straight losses on his watch.
One start after tossing a complete game, deGrom pitched 8.0 masterful innings against the potent Nationals lineup. He allowed only one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out six, allowing the Mets to salvage the last game of an important four-game series.
“I’m glad I was able to go out there and pitch well,” deGrom said. “Baseball’s a funny game. After those two [bad starts], I was just trying to prepare for these next ones. And that’s all you can do.”
These last two starts are certainly vastly different than the two prior in which he allowed 15 earned runs in 8.0 innings against the Brewers and Rangers. He cited some mechanical issues as why he struggled with a slightly lower average fastball velocity, but whatever tweaks he made seem to have done the trick.
“He got away from who he is, and now he’s back,” Terry Collins said after the game. “Those kinds of guys, they stop losing streaks. You lose three in a row, who shows up? Jake deGrom.”
The Mets offense had been struggling going into yesterday’s game, so deGrom didn’t think his job was limited to pitching. Wielding David Wright‘s bat, Jacob led off the third inning with his first career home run, an opposite field shot to tie the game at one.
“I was surprised that Jake has that much pop to the opposite field,” outfielder Michael Conforto admitted. “He’s got to do what I do, keep using the field.”
All-in-all this was a phenomenal day for deGrom, something the Mets and their fans hope to see more of going forward. He threw 105 pitches in the start, but his last pitch was the most telling as he blew a 98 mph fastball past a swinging Bryce Harper with a runner on second to end the 8th inning.
Jacob is 6-3 with a 3.94 ERA in 14 starts this season. In 89.0 innings he has struck out 106 and walked 36, pitching to a 1.33 WHIP.